‘Off road’ ale trails and new pubs - ninth City of Ale festival plans revealed

PUBLISHED: 16:16 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 14 February 2019

Plans have been revealed for the 2019 City of Ale festival. Picture: Dawn Leeder

Plans have been revealed for the 2019 City of Ale festival. Picture: Dawn Leeder


With ‘off-road’ ale trails and new pubs, the ninth City of Ale festival has been announced after organisers hosted their first meeting of the year.

It comes after the event picked up a national award this month, and the team behind City of Ale say it is going from ‘strength to strength’.

Dawn Leeder, together with city landlord Phil Cutter, founded the Norwich City of Ale festival back in 2011 to celebrate Norwich’s pubs and brewing heritage.

This month Ms Leeder attended Personality of the Year Awards in London where she picked up the Innovator of the Year award on behalf of Norwich City of Ale.

Her work in Norwich was described as an “inspiration” to other towns and cities throughout the UK, giving them confidence that events like this can succeed.

“City of Ale goes from strength to strength” said Ms Leeder. “Even though this is our ninth outing, people don’t seem to be tiring of it; quite the reverse.

“The city-wide festival reinvigorates the pub and brewing trade with all the extra visitors giving a much-needed sales boost”

Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) continues to be the main sponsor in recognition of the impact the festival has on city tourism.

BID executive director Stefan Gurney said: “City of Ale has become one of the key events in the Norwich calendar and is a fantastic celebration of fine ales, breweries and pubs which all add to the vibrancy of the city and the rich brewing tradition of Norwich.”

The festival will be sponsored by Norwich-based accountants Farnell Clarke.

Frankie Kay, from Farnell Clarke, said: “Norwich has some of the best pubs in the country, and the region’s brewers produce some of the best beers. It’s a real pleasure to be supporting them through our sponsorship of City of Ale. We’ll be doing all we can to help spread the word, make the Festival even more successful, and build the city’s reputation for its fabulous hospitality and beer.”

The ale trails will return in a slightly different pattern as new pubs have opened their doors and Norwich’s venerable heritage takes centre stage. Trail-goers will be encouraged to go “off-road” and explore the city’s history via lanes, alleys and river walks.

Norwich City of Ale 2019 runs from 23 May – 2 June. For more information visit

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